The time when Kisii men ruled the timber Industry 

Feb 2016 when I attending a conference in Dodoma Tanzania on water security.
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The time when Kisii men ruled the timber Industry 

I personally know many Kisii men including my maternal grandfather who traveled to Tanzania to seek work as “fundis” or abachweria extracting timber from the dense forests in that part of the world.

In February, 2016 I traveled to Dodoma Tanzania via Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam. At the Immigration, an officer asked me:

“Which part of Kenya are you from?”

“Nyanza, Kisii region,”I replied.

His face immediately became brighter. He countinued while smiling,

Nawatambua sana Wakisii kwa kupasua mbao.” translated loosely that he recognizes the Kisii community for being good at lumbering.

The immigration officer had interacted with several members of my community who had traveled to Tanzania in search of green pasture in timber industry.

Today’s post on Facebook by Khassogo Owa Namwamba real jogged my memory to February 2016. Check the picture below.

If there is anyone out there who has pictures of men sawing timber, we can talk.

Image: Facebook post on Kisii working in the timber industry before the emergence of power saws.
Image: Facebook post on Kisii men working in the timber industry before the emergence of power saws.Note, the gender rule was an alien concept in this type of work. credit: Khassogo Owa Namwamba. 

The last time I saw these fundis, they used to have one multi-purpose sufuria. It cooked both ugali and vegetables. They started with the vegetables then ugali. On the side of plates they were lean too. After cooking vegetables, they poured it on one split timber and then cook ugali. No one was allowed to assist them. I agree with Neok Kijomba on this matter.

If you know men who traveled to Tanzania in search of green pasture, we’d love to hear your story. From Kerosi Dotcom, I raise my hat for these heroes, my grand father Mose “Tosani” being one of them.

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Editor-in-Chief

Geoffrey Kerosi, economic and public policy analyst based in Nairobi City. Email: geoffrey@kerosi.com. WhatsApp: +254713 639 776 YouTube: Kerosi TV

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